Local Search Marketing Tactics - SES NY 2008

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The Local Search Marketing Tactics Sessions at this year’s SES NY 2008 turned into a neat little “plan of attack” for the local marketer.

The session looks at ways search marketers can tap into an audience using local search engines, online yellow pages and other local search methods. Speakers Gregg Stewart, SVP Interactive, TMP Directional Marketing and Steve Espinosa, Director of Product Development and Management, eLocal Listing, LLC provide key insights for utilizing today's available toolset. Here is the run down...

Webpage Optimization:

Links

  • Create page for each location
  • Anchor text link from index page to location page
  • Press releases
  • BBB,city sites, category specific sites

HCard

  • HCard Format: let search engine know the actual address, phone number, business. Index the data. (Quick Link: HCard Creator)

Video

  • Place Embed Code of Video on Home page and location page
  • Link to video page from index page
  • Video sitemap, don’t just submit to Google Video!

No Follow

  • Utilize “ref=nofollow” to push more link juice to pages that need it.

Forms

  • Only necessary information
  • Only appropriate pages

Sponsored Result Tactics

  • Utilize local business Ads
  • Geo Targeting: apply Geo Targeting to capture broader key phrases, maintain a high quality score.
  • Don’t create duplicate ads that compete with themselves.

Landing page

  • Make sure the landing pages coincide with the local search
  • A/B variant testing:
  • Apply geo-targeting to capture broader keywords
  • Negative keywords, use negative keywords when setting up Adwords

Social media tactics:

  • Use DIGG / Myspace, etc.
  • Facebook sets your user profile to private by default. So SE’s can’t index this content.

Yahoo Local, Google Local:

  • Categories: as many as you can
  • Reviews: effect ranking and help with long tail phrases.
  • Coupons: help with tracking offline conversions and also give you an edge over competition

Local SE Market share

Google 59%

Yahoo 22%

MSN 10%

Ask 5%

AOL 4%

Local guides Market Share

Superpages 44%

Yellowpages 31%

Citysearch 10%

Yellowbookd.com 8%

Dexknows.com 3%

Local Video

Produce Video

  • Short and sweet (under 5 minutes, best less than 2 minutes), no one wants to watch a long video online. Try and make it funny and thus viral!
  • No need for HD quality footage
  • Include phone number and address
  • Have a company do it for you (eLocal listings, TurnHere and Mixpo)

Create a page on Site

  • Title tags
  • Keywords
  • Anchor text links
  • Make sure file name is keyword rich. Try to use a .swf file.

Video Sitemap

  • Allow embed
  • Create thumbnails and business name and phone number
  • Apply the same description and contend as on your video page.

TV Ready

  • Allows you to create merge offline and online marketing
  • If possible, make sure it is TV Ready
  • Thousand of impression are affordable
  • Google Adwords, allows for video

User Ratings and Reviews

  • 1 out of 4 consumers now consult online rating and review prior to making local purchasing decisions
  • Studies have shown that business with a review experience double the performance of those without
  • More than 70% of local search sites offer rating and reviews.

·         Encourage customers to write reviews with your key phrases

·         Key phrases in review can help with long tail key phrases that may look “tacky” to include in business information.

·         Research where your Google local listing pulls reviews. Also analyze your competitors and see where they are getting their reviews.

  • Although a majority of consumers are finding local business information online, 8 out of 10 consumers still respond offline via an in-store visit or phone call

Online Tracking

  • Tracking URL
  • Post click tracking technology (eg. Google Analytics)
  • Online lead generation forms

Offline tracking

  • Call tracking (*TIP: You can do FREE call tracking with Google Analytics. Create radio ad but never implement it. They give you call tracking numbers, all for FREE!)
  • Consumer call-back surveys
  • Coupons or discount codes that can be found online but used in store

So while this is by no means a comprehensive checklist of local marketing strategies or tactics it should be a great starting point. I hope you find it useful. Now back to SES NY 2008!

Dante Monteverde, Website Magazine Contributor is a Search Strategist specializing  in Search Engine Optimization. He founded SpiderBait.com in 1996 and has over 10 years of SEO experience. Visit SpiderBait's SEO Expert blog: www.spiderbait.com/seo-expert for more useful resources on a variety of search topics.

:: Create a local presence wherever you want to do business. Get a local phone number. ::


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